Kia's electric Niro promises more than 236 miles per charge

Smaller battery option will be available

KIA’S QUIET revolution is continuing with the announcement of a new, pure-electric version of the Niro, its compact SUV that rivals the likes of the Mazda CX-3 and Fiat 500X.

The existing Niro is a petrol-electric hybrid but the new version will be powered solely by a battery pack, but those concerned it’ll lack enough juice to handle their motoring needs may be comforted by Kia’s claimed range of “more than 380km” (236 miles), thanks to a 64kWh lithium-polymer battery pack.

That’s the range calculated on the new World Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure, which is based on real-world driving. WHLVTP replaces the outgoing New European Drive Cycle (NEDC) test, which uses lab conditions and woefully overestimates fuel economy and efficiency out on the road.

By comparison, the most basic Tesla Model X SUV comes with a 75kWh battery, which is rated at 259 miles on the old NEDC test, suggesting the Niro EV benefits from being smaller and lighter. It’s unlikely it’ll have anything like the same turn of speed as the Tesla, either.

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A Niro EV with a smaller battery will also be available, offering up to 240km (149 miles) of range via a 39.2kWh system, although exact specifications of models coming to UK buyers are still to be announced.

In terms of design, the Niro EV looks much like the standard car, other than a bespoke grille and air intakes, which include “arrowhead” LED running lights. The charging port is integrated into nose, on the left side of the grille.

The Niro EV will go on sale in Korea during the second half of 2018 and will follow in other markets.

Kia Niro review (2016 on)